Prosser Award Nominations

Deadline for nominations April 7, 2023

Eligibility and Nominations

To be considered for a Prosser Award, candidates must be nominated by a current IVSA member and have completed outstanding work in visual methodologies during the previous two years. As “beginning scholars,” nominees also must be either current graduate students or scholars who completed their graduate degree program in the preceding 5 years (since January 1, 2016). Nominees do not have to be IVSA members, but if they are, they can self-nominate.

Nomination Materials

To nominate a candidate who meets the eligibility criteria noted above, please submit the following (in English):

  • Contact information for the nominee and the nominating IVSA member: name, position, academic department or program, institution, telephone and email address.
  • A nomination letter (1200 words max) from the nominating IVSA member, recommending the nominee’s work in terms of the Awards Program review criteria (see below).
  • Supplemental documents and work products (not exceeding 5,000 words and 10 images) that illustrate the exceptional value and potential of the nominee’s contributions to visual methodologies.
  • Evidence confirming current graduate student status or the completion of graduate degrees since January 1, 2016.

Review Criteria

Each nominee’s work will be evaluated by the IVSA Awards Review Committee to assess its thoughtfulness, significance and creativity in addressing issues of interest to members of the IVSA. In examining the work of Prosser Award Nominees, the Review Committee will give special consideration to work that:

  1. enhances the theory and/or practice of visual methodologies;
  2. contributes new insights to participatory approaches, visual representation, and analysis;
  3. enriches understanding of culture and social life; and/or
  4. models creative and effective applications of visual imagery to critical inquiry.


Only current IVSA members may make nominations for our awards. If you are already a member please log into your account.

If you are not yet a member of the IVSA, please consider becoming one.

Benefits of membership


    For any picture, ask yourself what question or questions it might be answering. Since the picture could answer many, questions, we can decide what question we are interested in.

    Howard Becker

  • Photographers learn to interpret photographs in that technical way because they want to understand and use that ‘language’ themselves (just as musicians learn a more technical musical language than the layman needs). Social scientists who want to work with visual materials will have to learn to approach them in this more studious and time-consuming way

    Howard Becker

  • You try your hardest to give people their space, but at moments you know you’re capturing their image in ways they may or may not be okay with. It’s that rocking back and forth between respect and betrayal that I feel like is at the heart of the film.

    Kirsten Johnson


    If it’s far away, it’s news, but if it’s close at home, it’s sociology.

    James Reston


    The task for sociology is to come to the help of the individual. We have to be in service of freedom. It is something we have lost sight of.

    Zygmunt Bauman


    One advantage of photography is that it’s visual and can transcend language.

    Lisa Kristine

  • Watching a documentary with people hacking their way through some polar wasteland is merely a visual. Actually trying to deal with cold that can literally kill you is quite a different thing.

    Henry Rollins


    The function of sociology, as of every science, is to reveal that which is hidden.

    Pierre Bourdieu


    Reality changes; in order to represent it, modes of representation must change.

    Bertolt Brecht

  • I believe that we face incredible obstacles in our attempts to see the world. Everything in our nature tries to deny the world around us; to refabricate it in our own image; to reinvent it for our own benefit. And so, it becomes something of a challenge, a task, to recover (or at least attempt to recover) the real world despite all the impediments to that end.

    Errol Morris

  • We never really know what’s around the corner when we’re filming – what turn a story will take, what a character will do or say to surprise us, how the events in the world will impact our story.

    Barbara Kopple

  • So it is my firm belief, that if you want nowadays, to have a clear and distinct communication of your concepts, you have to use synthetic images, no longer words.

    Vilém Flusser

  • Before I became a film major, I was very heavily into social science, I had done a lot of sociology, anthropology, and I was playing in what I call social psychology, which is sort of an offshoot of anthropology/sociology – looking at a culture as a living organism, why it does what it does.

    George Lucas


    Sometimes one picture is equal to 30 pages of discourse, just as there are things images are completely incapable of communicating.

    William S. Burroughs

  • Give us adequate images. We lack adequate images. Our civilization does not have adequate images. And I think a civilization is doomed or is going to die out like dinosaurs if it doesn’t develop an adequate language for adequate images.

    Werner Herzog

  • If you want to tell the untold stories, if you want to give voice to the voiceless, you’ve got to find a language. Which goes for film as well as prose, for documentary as well as autobiography. Use the wrong language, and you’re dumb and blind.

    Salman Rushdie


    There are dignified stupidities, and there are heroic stupidities, and there is such a thing as stupid stupidities, and that would be a stupid stupidity not to have a camera on board.

    Werner Herzog


    Every photograph promises more than it delivers and delivers more than it intended.

    Steve Harp


    Visual culture is now the study of how to understand change in a world too enormous to see but vital to imagine.

    Nicholas Mirzoeff


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